Reflective Practice in Mental Health Nursing: Learning from Professional Experiences

  • 10 Pages
  • Published On: 18-11-2023


Reflection of an individual can be defined as an account of emotions and working on probable sense of responsibilities that is inbuilt on the subconscious state. In other words, it has been important for a reflective study for a nurse is to identify own strengths and weaknesses acknowledged during the learning course of actions (Desk, 2020). The essay would rely on a professional event during my nursing practice on mental health service in my institution in between my colleagues and mentors and supervisors. Moreover, nursing and promotive practices, where the patients starts recovering and responding to the care and support provided by the nurses (Yilmaz et al. 2017). Further, the study of reflection on mental health practice on the event would include higher cognitive ability in the overall process and their indulgence to bring about changes and development within my own skills and actions suing Johari Window framework.

PART 1: Reflective commentary


I have an experience during my course of action while practice on mental health that gave me several aspects of learning and gaining knowledge relevant to the situation of practicing and understanding about personal effectiveness. I was in a semester, where I was given an opportunity to have project to work on a mental health patient with my seniors and mentors and supervisor. Being a junior, I had to take some responsibility in terms of initiating and collecting things allocated for this project work. However, I had no idea of what to question to the mental health patient in knowing about key health concerns of any problems that could be acknowledged well.

Based on my semester session, it was observed by my supervisor that I had controlled my anger to some extent while I was given to handle a patient directly. Then my senior well managed the situation that went out of control. If I would lose my patience, this could have been a bigger issue. Even I got some less score in my first semester in the portion of identifying the psychological aspect of questions that was asked by my mentor.

On any occasions if the time restrictions are not there the nurses may not be able to think acutely and methodologically and tend to make more mistakes (Hougton et al, 2020). In relation to my incidence and the event that took place, it gave me an idea that having patience and balancing time is crucial in the health care department that is needed in the smooth running of the services in the healthcare unit is the team work.

Using Johari Window framework, I have somehow realized that how to identify my key strengths and weaknesses and how can I go ahead in future to improve myself and work on further for my better career progress.


In accordance with the above model (Beganu, and Nitan, 2019), it has been rightly stated that the theory has an efficacious way of strengthening the bond between two persons or organizations. I agree with the theory completely as before taking care of the individuals the main thing that is to be executed is the personal understanding and the development of relations. Comprehending the emotions of the mentally ill persons is a very unpredictable work as the way of their acceptance of care is unanticipated (Cummins, 2020). During the practice event, which I had with my seniors, I was not able to judge or point the cause of the patients and their conversation where to switch on to the key concerns. My supervisor guided me that I need to listen first and then ask question slowly in respect of their emotional attachments and sentiments. However, I was losing patience and then my seniors also helped me to find the real concerns. Besides, Fried et al. (2017), has focused on the study of emotions and the observation of the psychological disturbance in the person before taking the necessary steps to recover it. Similarly, Yilmaz et al. (2017), commented that nurses need to use their consciousness, realization and acquaintance with sympathy and empathize that works better for staying alert and conscious. Depending on this argument, I have recollected my reflective skills intensified in the professional practice from this event experience, where interacting with the patients and by the informal meetings with the doctors, staff and the family members of the patients. According to Blais (2016), ethical behavior is important as this behavior decides the decision taking by a person on what is wrong and what is right. In this regard, I have felt that while working on these kinds of patients, the senior doctors are trying their level their best to support the mentally retarded patients to earn their trust but at certain situations they fail to do, as they are bound by the rules and regulations of the organizations. On the other hand, nursing care circumstances often implies giving proper information to the relatives of the patients about the health conditions of the patients (Winkler et al. 2017). Even I have identified from this stated event above when my seniors were also not given any freedom. However, I have learned that how I could implement treatment mechanism from one of my senior.

As stated by Singhal et al. (2018), time is the most precious artifact in nurses’ lives. I acknowledged from my event that have given me all-inclusive knowledge and effect on how to make myself calm and patient even in critical situation of handling a mental patient. On the contrary, Gordon et al.(2016), rightly opined that effective teamwork can also bring out a desirable result for any situations that can reduce gaps between patient and nurse. With reference of the event, I completely agree with effective teamwork in dealing with patient problems. I was not well aware of my team members with whom I was supposed to work during my semester project event. During the event controlling management process, I was told by the supervisor to follow my seniors only and take intensive training also. This was really difficult for me to adapt others’ nature and style of treating patients. Although, I also knew that I hardly had any prior concept of what and how to go ahead with my application on communication therapy. Hence, considering the Open Element of Johari Window, I could have a complete idea that how I could explore my skills and acknowledge my ideas of interpreting patients’ conversation here. This was my event’s contribution for me that gave a lot of corners that I had lack while studying and practicing on personal effectiveness.

PART B: Development plan

Looking at the major issues of the nursing care plans the most important part to develop is the focus on the patient's needs and requirements. Mentally retarded patients to be given extra care to help them recover quickly from what they are suffering (Winkler et al.2017). I have planned with an illustration below of how I could implement change within me in future.

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The plan would strengthen the nurse patient relationship, adapted from (Esterhuizen, and Howatson-Jones, 2019). They would be able to function as a team eradicating the disorders and the problems of the patients in an independent way. According to Flynn et al. (2016), nurses would be the aviator of the health systems improving and eradicating the health systems and services. The evaluation of the development would be reviewed after new innovative plans in the development of the patients are proposed.

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Therefore, considering the overall outline and discussion, it has been acknowledged that the work of nurses and the procedures can be enhanced with an effective study and mechanism of Johari Window Model Theory has been discussed to throw light on my own account and issues that I have faced during my session event in my semester. Moreover, I have also realized about how to be patient and enhance my listening skills from seniors and other administrative staffs along with understanding perceptions of patients. In this regard, the development action plan is stated in a way that I can pursue changes in my personal knowledge for my professional development aspects. The study threw light on my own personal effectiveness on my professional practice on mental health patients. Hence, it can be concluded that resilience of the patients with the wholehearted, dedicated service provided by the nurses and the ways to make it even better.


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